Bio Stuff

Tony Mecca

- Philadelphia singer/songwriter Tony Mecca serves wisdom from deep in the inner city via a delicious storytelling-based blueprint that inventively incorporates elements of Pop, Blues, Folk and Rock 'n Roll. His stories fuse equal amounts of humor and sympathy to thoughtfully examine life experiences, personalities and real people dealing with ordinary and sometimes surreal circumstances.

- His music has been labeled RockClassic Rock, Singer-Songwriter among others. He calls it Adventurous Singer/Songwriter Rock or Urban American Heavy MeNtal. In reviews his songs and sound has been compared to XTC, Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Mellencamp and Tom Waits. But to his true fans, he sounds like Tony Mecca.

- Through live performances from D.C. to NYC with his Heavy MeNtal Gypsys, and his steadily growing recorded output of albums  ... Purple Monkeys (2003) - Princes of the New Dark Age (2005) - Hello, Goodbye & Everything in Between (2007) - Fun (2011) - Heavy Mental Gypsies (2016) - Fractured Poetry (2020) - 
Mecca has developed a loyal following in and around his hometown that's gradually infiltrated other regions both nationally and abroad.


- During 2016/2017, Mecca not only released Heavy Mental Gypsies (2016), but also remixed and remastered his first two albums, Purple Monkeys (2003) and Princes of the New Dark Age (2005). He also began work on his sixth album, while signing several exclusive licensing contracts for many of his songs.

- Keeping busy through 2018/2019, he continued work on his 6th studio album, while releasing two singles, Terrifying Lies / The Dark Side of Love, and the remixed editions of Purple Monkeys and Princes of the New Dark Age. 2019 presented a heavy live schedule with both his Heavy MeNtal Gypsys and the 33 1/3  Live Killer Queen Experience - while continuing a strict recording  schedule to finish the new album slated for 2020.

- NOW ...  On July 31, 2020, FRACTURED POETRY, was released in CD and download  format. It is  AVAILABLE HERE - and in download and streaming formats just about everywhere else


- In a poll conducted several years ago Mecca was described as:
“The bastard son of Huey Lewis and Joni Mitchell”  ...  “The Who fronted by John Prine”  ...   “The Working Man’s Wagner”.

Meet The Heavy Mental Gypsys

Stephanie Davis

Vocals, Clarinet

A graduate of the prestigious Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP) in Philadelphia, Stephanie is a classically trained mezzo-soprano who has a great appreciation for the classics, as well as an open mind to all genres of music. No stranger to the stage, she has performed as a soloist throughout her high school and college years, and is a charter member of The Heavy Mental Gypsys since 2007. In addition, Steph has recorded and performed with, Milton and the Devils Party, Stop the World, Drive 56, & Ever After, and serves as a lead/backing vocalist, and vocal arranger for the wonderful 33 1/3 Live Killer Queen Experience.

Joe Pettit

Electric Guitar, Apposite Noise

A lifelong student of the guitar who has studied with several of the worlds most renowned and accomplished virtuosos in the legendary Pat Martino and east coast teaching guru Frank DiBussolo, Philadelphia native Joe Petitt has primarily operated in the more experimental realms of space fusion and improvisational jazz. Joe is a charter member of The Heavy Mental Gypsys since 2007.

A high caliber person guided by deep moral and spiritual beliefs, Joe's is best known for his compassionate disposition. His biggest complaint thus far? “When shirtless, barefoot drunks show-up at our live shows not knowing the lyrics.” Hey, watch Joe shred on YouTube!

Angelo Esposito

Bass, Farm equipment

 

A native of South Philadelphia, and one of the most popular musicians on the Philly scene. Angelo joined The Heavy Mental Gypsys in the fall of 2015, and has kept things positive and loose from the beginning. Currently, he doesn't have much to say except "I love playing in this band ... and be safe out there!" Until he offers a hint of his busy musical past, The Gypsys are just happy to have him aboard!

John Merlino

Keyboards, Theoretical Intrigue

John grew up just outside of Philadelphia in Bensalem, PA. He began his relationship with the piano at just seven years old, and has continued his passion and quest to navigate the 88's ever since. Moving to South Philadelphia in 2001, John has participated in various Classic Rock and Jazz outfits. A member of The Heavy Mental Gypsys since 2009, John also loves teaching piano, and also plays with Gypsys' friends ... The Erica Gagliardi Band.

 

Jim Drnec

Drums, Legal Council

Originally from Chicago, and then New Jersey, and then California, and now Delaware, Jim is among the areas most respected drummers and band leaders. If fact, If you took the time to listen to all the gigs Jim Drnec has played, you'd have one hell of a headache. Jim has played with Habits, Cinderella & Network to mention just a few. He's tapped every style of music from classical to progressive rock and everything in between. And according to Jim, "I'll need to draw on all of those influences to color the diverse auditory program that Tony Mecca offers his listeners."

Michele Davis

Violin, Vocals, Thespian Street Cred

South Philadelphia native Michele Davis has yet to tell us anything about herself except that she is Stephanie's sister, and that she loves being a rock star. We will continue to press and interrogate her.

Steven Wiggs

Electric Guitar, Arts & Crafts

Steve is an incredibly talented graphic artist, and one bad ass guitarist. The Gypsy's welcomed him into the fold back in 2017, and he has been a main stay ever since. Steve created the artwork for both 2018 singles, The Dark Side of Love & Terrifying Lies. Stay tuned for more details...